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Granted, the Soviets' goaltender, Vladislav Tretiak, who had back-to-back shutouts against Quebec and Montreal, was a factor. But the visitors' defense, which relentlessly impeded the NHLers' movement, repeatedly took the North Americans out of the action at center ice and denied them decent shots, showed that scoring can be controlled.
The point is, the art of defense isn't dead. It has simply been exiled to Russia.
NO HANGOVER SO FAR
Early in the 1981 NFL season, when the Cincinnati Bengals were just beginning their drive to the Super Bowl, a bunch of Bengal fans sitting in the red section—the least expensive seats—at Riverfront Stadium began an exultant, rhythmic cry: "Who dey, who dey, who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?"
Denton Marr, program director of WEBN, a Cincinnati rock-'n'-roll station, was, as he says, "sitting in the cheap seats, as I normally do, when a dozen or so fans started the chant. I fell in love with it." The next day at the station, Marr rounded up several people, taught them the words and recorded them in full cry, using a multitrack setup to get the effect of the stadium crowd. WEBN then popped the tape on the air with NFL scores or at almost any mention of the Bengals. In no time, "Who dey" was all the rage in Cincy. The entire crowd at Riverfront began roaring it at games. The words were flashed on the scoreboard. "Who dey" was heard in bars, at concerts, even in Cincinnati's huge old Union Terminal, where one day a group gathered to listen to it echo from the building's lofty rotunda.
Naturally, "Who dey" was seen and heard at the Silverdome last January—in the form of buttons, T shirts, banners, hats and chant—when the Bengals lost to San Francisco in the Super Bowl. It was back this year, before and after the strike, and at the end of the regular season there was an added fillip. The Hudepohl Brewing Company, which makes a popular beer known locally as Hudy, tries to stay in tune with the city. In 1976, for example, it put out a special commemorative beer can to honor the Reds for sweeping the Yankees in the World Series. Because "Hudy" sounds a lot like "Who dey," last year Cincinnati beer drinkers wondered if Hudepohl would create a special Super Bowl can for the Bengals.
The brewery didn't, for various reasons, and when the football strike threatened to wipe out the 1982 season, the chance that Cincinnati would have a beer for the Bengals seemed to be slim or none. Then came the poststrike games, the revival of Bengal hopes and the realization that the team once again had a shot at the Super Bowl. Without fanfare Hudepohl worked up beer cans decorated with black-and-orange Bengal stripes and a tiger's head, printed "Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals" on the cans, called the brew Hu-dey and, just before New Year's, distributed the brew in the Cincinnati area. There was no advertising, no promotion, but the results were astonishing.
"The beer is flying off the shelves," says Lee Oberlag, a brewery representative. More than 15,000 cases (100% more cans than Hudepohl usually sells) were sold the first week, and as the Bengals headed into the playoffs, demand continued to outstrip supply. Last Sunday the Jets knocked off the Bengals 44-17 (page 24), but at the brewery folks couldn't be blamed for feeling that nobody was gonna beat dat Hudepohl.
EVER SEE A DREAM WALKING?